The 17th Annual Ikorodu Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Business Luncheon and Awards was notable in every connotation for its outstanding surveillance of the trade sector in the waterbed region.
Held at Oteju hall in Ikorodu Ultra modern town hall on the 31st of May 2022, the event hosted eminent personalities across the division for purpose of caressing minds to enrich the quality of transactions among business owners.
The edition which was concentrated at revamping the agrarian axis saw the VIP including HRM, Oba Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, Adeboruwa of Igbogbo kingdom, Prof. Kunle Ade Wahab, President ICCI, Chief Asipa Kaoli amongst other dignitaries on the high table, evaluating feasible solutions to break even commerce via agriculture.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Kunle Ade Wahab, took the audience down memory lane, accentuating the first-ever ICCI business luncheon held in 2013 surging to the last one in 2021.
He further urged all hands to be on deck and the government at the local, state and federal must be exhorted to develop agriculture value chains in areas of comparative advantage to develop the agro-industry through upgrading and modernization.
Prof. Wahab continued, “Also we must approve indigenous technology, a prominent role in promoting agriculture and agro-industry, develop the export market and promote trade at the state and international levels”
“Promote private enterprise and foreign direct investment (FDI) in agro-industry, and promote agro-industry and rural infrastructural development so that the expected results could be achieved”
Prof. Wahab later asserted that the event also features the conferment of the 1st Business Merit Award to High Chief Adewunmi Ogunsanya, SAN, the Odofin of the Ikorodu Kingdom for his success in the field of Law, Real Estate, Intellectual Property, Insurance, Oil and Gas and Entertainment as a way of motivating others.
Patting on the Prospect of employment creation in the Agricultural sector in Nigeria, the program lecture spearheaded by Prince Adeseye Adedipe corroborated that Agriculture has been the main stay of the country‘s economy from time immemorial and through the pre-independence period before the advent of Industrial /Manufacturing activities and before the discovery of oil.
According to Prince Adedipe, Agriculture has also been maintained at the self-sustenance level and a minimal commercial level.
He stated The cultivation of the cash crops like cocoa, palm oil, kernels, rubbers etc. was also not well developed until when the Europeans came to Nigeria and brought up the commercial activities in the materials for exports to Europe to process finished goods and generate employment for Nigeria and their citizens overseas.
“Other farm products like maize, beans yams, animal husbandry, fishing etc were also developed at sustenance level for the farmers to feed their families and surplus sold to cater for other needs of the families.
“The employment level in the Agricultural sector was at minimal level up to a pre-independent period of the country”.
Proffering solutions, Prince Adedipe continued, “The number of workers needed in agriculture would continue to grow as the level of industrialization increases in Nigeria requiring agricultural materials input, this has important implications for employment policies.
“For employment, Governments need to undertake the measure required to attract self-employed enterprises that would provide wage employment for lots of people”.
“In this regard, to improve employment in the agricultural sector government policies must focus on increasing public and private investments in physical capital, such as dams, irrigation structures, grain silos farm machinery and rural roads”.
“Social capital such as human capital through education and health and on the job training and the job training extension services institutions capital through investment in organisation and regulatory environment, This would enhance the productivity in agriculture and thereby make it an alternative for the younger generation. Also to increase the number of paid jobs by enabling enabling investment organisation” Prince Adedipe concludes
The lecture which was followed by Q&A session saw numerous opinion and suggestions to compliment the Prince Adedipe’s solutions, with Chief Asipa Kaoli pointing towards the challenge faced by farmers from planting to harvest season, urging the government to play a more supporting role.
“As an investor in this area, I think the government should assist in creating a sales channel for producing farmers who invest both their time, resources and money to follow the process but still incurres a lot of losses”
“There are farmers who feeds their fowl beyond selling duration, thereby incurring more loss and there are some that would have to sell below their production cost due to the same loss which they could no longer harbour”
“I am of the opinion that if the government can create a measure to which every producing farmers can sells all their farm produce with assurance, then it will not only increase productivity but also give others the need to join the agricultural sector” Asipa Kaoli added
Otunba Ganiyu Olusegun Abiru, the ICCI exco member, suggested that government regulation must be worked upon to aid productive farming, adding that a communique needs to be created by the Ikorodu Chamber of Commerce and Industry to address the productive challenges in the agricultural sector at a national scale.
Lauding the lecture and contributions made, HRM, Oba Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali (adeboruwa of Igbogbo Kingdom) voiced his displeasure with the absence of the Lagos state ministry of Agriculture at the event, noting that it can only take collective input to solve the plights.
“Most times people think when you’re talking about farming it’s all in the hands of the landowners, which is not, the government has a lot of roles to play in it”
“Not only the ministry, even the head of agriculture at the local government level is supposed to be present and also that of the Lagos state university of science and technology (formerly LASPOTECH)”.
“When every stakeholder involve is present, then we’ll have good dialogue, so I want to believe that subsequently, ICCI will ensure to work on their lapses and carry everyone along to proffer adequate solution” Oba Semiudeen asserted
Presentation of a plaque to Mr Abraham Abiodun Balogun (CEO Allied Computers) by Mrs Adeola Rotinwa and presentation of 1st Business merit Award to Odofin Adewunmi Ogunsanya SAN by Engr. Lukman Erogbogbo was the high point of the event followed by the official luncheon toast.